Glen Sheppard of Charlevoix County passed away this past January. He and his wife, Mary Lou were the owners and publishers of The North Woods Call “an admittedly biased newspaper dedicated to the proposition that there is only one side in any issue involving natural resources…NATURES!”.
Glen was never politically correct. He wrote his articles telling the story just the way it was, always ruffling the feathers of the bureaucrats and politicians who compromised our natural resources. At one time he so enraged DNR director K.L. Kool that he ordered the removal of the Call from the DNR RAM center at Higgins Lake and ordered them out of all DNR offices. Glen wore that as a badge of honor.
This past opening day of the firearm deer season I was waiting for the first magical moments of first light. The wind was calm, with a tinge of frost in the air. With the rut in full swing it was a perfect opening morning. A quarter mile east of my stand was a 19,000 acre block of state land designated “timber intensive”.
Over the previous years less shots could be heard each passing year. This time a few shots were heard being fired from private property surrounding my location but just a very rare shot heard from state land. Four of my friends were hunting in that block. After hunting for two full days three of them saw six deer together, while one was lucky to see six deer.
It was a late April morning several years ago as I poked my head out of the door to find a hazy moon and no wind. I went through the routine of preparing to be in the woods before first light. A short time later I was on a half a mile hike to greet those gobblers I had put to bed the night before.
This spring will be my 43rd year of chasing spring gobblers. I have been very fortunate to have lived within a short driving distance of the very first Wild Turkeys introduced into northern Michigan. The experiences of those first turkey hunters will never again be repeated. There were no videos or instructors and no turkey calls found in sporting goods stores. Spring turkey hunting was learned by trial and error. My but there was a lot of errors!
Ever since our website was established several years ago it has received thousands of hits each year from many countries around the globe. What other country than the United States has the most visitors? It is Russia.
The Internet is amazing in that with a press of a button information is sent all around the world in an instant. We have dealt with many issues that deal with the future of hunting that no other hunting organization has, in an effort to educate and inform.
As this is being written during the third week of January winter has arrived. We have made an initial purchase of 10,000 pounds of corn and have distributed it to 2,062 Wild Turkeys scattered over our 13 county areas. If everyone picks up their supply of corn we will be over extended and will make another corn purchase. Turkey numbers have fallen significantly over our entire area.